Time and again, Muslims, especially those in Egypt, project Islamic thinking onto Christians: thus the Coptic church has been accused of smuggling and storing weapons in its churches to take over the nation (when in fact mosques are regularly exposed housing illegal weapons for the jihad); of kidnapping and torturing Coptic girls who convert to Islam (when in fact Muslim converts to Christianity-apostates-are regularly beat, imprisoned, and sometimes killed); and even of supporting suicide-attacks when the church speaks of Copts being martyred (because in Islam being "martyred" so often means actively sacrificing one's life in "holy war").
Now a well know cleric in Egypt-the same who insists that Muslim husbands must hate their non-Muslim wives-has just proclaimed that Jesus was against the idea of separation of church and state and that he supported the idea of jizya, the Koran-mandated tribute conquered non-Muslims, or dhimmis, are required to pay their overlords, "with willing submission," per Koran 9:29.
Sheikh Yusuf Burhami, the most visible leader of Egypt's Salafi movement-which, since the ousting of the Brotherhood, has become the primary Islamist party imposing Sharia in the new constitution-recently issued an Arabic-language fatwa arguing that the biblical statement attributed to Jesus-"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.'" (Matt 22:21)-could not, as widely held by Christians, have meant that Jesus supported the separation of church and state, "because," in Burhami's words, "a separation between state and religion contradicts the texts of the Koran." more >>
In 2008, under the leadership of Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana launched an educational scholarship program in New Orleans. The Louisiana Scholarship Program, similar to Alabama's new scholarship program created by the Accountability Act, is designed to provide low-income students zoned for underperforming schools with opportunities to attend qualified private schools within the State. In 2012, Governor Jindal prioritized expansion of the program that is now available to students anywhere in the State. Over 5,000 students took advantage of the program in its first year.
In August, the U.S. Department of Justice petitioned a federal court to block the distribution of scholarships in Louisiana school districts that are restricted by desegregation orders. Out of Louisiana's 69 school districts, 34 are still operating under desegregation orders put in place during the Civil Rights Era. These decades-old orders evolved from lawsuits over segregation in public schools and require that school districts meet a variety of racial quotas and proportions in student body and administration. The court orders have no definitive end and are monitored by both the federal judge originally assigned to the case and the U.S. Department of Justice. However, there is very little readily available information on the status of these orders and school districts seeking relief face an uphill battle in even knowing where to begin the daunting process of seeking release.
The Justice Department's August filing asked the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana to stop the State from awarding any school vouchers or scholarships to students attending school in districts operating under federal desegregation orders unless and until the State receives authorization from the Court. In essence, the U.S. Department of Justice chose to prioritize the stringent, and in some cases arbitrary, race-based requirements of a nearly 40-year-old court order over the immediate opportunity for a low-income child to have a chance to pursue a better education outside of his or her assigned failing school. The irony is that a State-based study on the racial effects of Louisiana's scholarship program concluded that the school choice program either improved or had no impact on racial ratios within the schools. more >>
One of my favorite times of year is Thanksgiving. What a great tradition---where we gather together to recount the Lord's blessings. I love the statement from columnist Mark Steyn: "Speaking as a misfit unassimilated foreigner, I think of Thanksgiving as the most American of holidays." Consider its history as a holiday.
A year before the Pilgrims even landed, in 1619, Jamestown (the first permanent British settlement in North America) had the first Thanksgiving celebration.
Captain John Woodlief declared on December 4, 1619: "We ordain that the day of our ship's arrival at the place assigned for plantation in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God." more >>
America's view of its own elected Congress has declined so dramatically that now, according to one poll, Americans prefer hemorrhoids, fungus, jury duty, dog feces and potholes to congress. Even the IRS and the DMV had higher approval ratings (I am not making this up!). Congress only had an edge on serial-killer Charles Manson, Russia's Vladimir Putin (probably exactly how he likes it!), and we can all be grateful they preferred Congress over Miley Cyrus' "twerking."
I know Congress has a hard job, but shouldn't we at least expect them to poll better than fungus?
They didn't. more >>
AAA predicts that 43 million Americans will take to the roads with their families to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. It also predicts that upwards of 8 million of them will still be talking to each other by the time they reach their aunt's house.
It is the time of year when 80-year-old Wal-Mart greeters are trampled when the doors open for Black Friday. These greeters are members of our "Greatest Generation." They stopped Hitler's Nazi army, took Iwo Jima, and stopped North Korea's advance, but annually they get completely overrun by hefty, middle-aged women looking to buy a waffle iron for $12.99.
It has been an epic year for us op-ed humor writers. At this point in the year, I give thanks for those buffoons, reprobates, scalawags and scoundrels who made my job easier in 2013. more >>
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas recently celebrated the opening of a new facility in Ft. Worth, TX. More than a few critics have noted the irony that the new Southwest Ft. Worth Health Center is located next to the Gladney Adoption Center, an organization that has been providing pregnancy support and adoption services to the country for 125 years. When questioned about their choice to build next door to an adoption center, Ken Lambrecht, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Greater Texas said, "As far as we're concerned, being next door to Gladney is wonderful."
I suppose Mr. Lambrecht's perspective has a sort of logic about it, assuming you view pregnancy exclusively in terms of a women's rights issue. Having an abortion facility next door to an adoption agency provides a sort of one-stop shop for women with unintended or unwanted pregnancies. In Lambrecht's view, abortion and adoption are simply different choices that achieve the same outcome: women who are unwilling or unable to care for their unborn children are relieved of the burden of doing so. Neither choice is better or worse than the other. It's all about educating women about their options.
And this is really what our culture is all about today, isn't it? We revere choice, and we bristle at anyone or anything that would impose constraints on our choices. In a society where God's law and transcendent truths no longer inform our values, the buck stops with the individual. He or she is the one who decides what's "right" based purely upon how they feel about their situation. In response to this "rights" rhetoric, pro-life apologists often reply with their own version of the rights argument. If the Founders were correct, and we are all endowed with unalienable rights, then a woman's right to privacy (or bodily integrity, or a baby-free womb or whatever right she feels it is that her baby violates) must be weighed against her unborn child's unalienable right to life. more >>